Discover more from The View from the Front. By Stan R. Mitchell.
The Stan R. Mitchell report for 4/12/22.
Happy Tuesday, everyone! Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start!
I wanted to start this edition by sharing the remarkable video of Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson making a surprise visit to Kyiv, Ukraine.
I’m not much of a fan of Boris, but the video is sooooo inspiring to watch.
Do watch it if you haven’t gotten a moment. Especially the interaction Boris has with a local resident.
But the video is also proof that you can always keep fighting and improve your reputation and standing.
Without question, the spine showed by Britain during this invasion — from the beginning — has been incredible.
With the war shifting east, away from the capital and to the wide and open plains, the types of weapons that Ukraine will need have changed.
In The Washington Post story below, Boris pledged 120 more armored vehicles, in addition to harpoon anti-ship missiles to keep the Russian Navy at bay.
The article described the changing war in excellent detail. From the report:
Russian forces are repositioning for a fight over eastern Ukraine — what many predict will be full-scale confrontation on flat, open, rural terrain, between infantry, armor, and artillery, in the kind of engagements not seen in generations.
“To win such a war, we need different help than what we have been receiving before,” said Ukraine’s defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, in a video appeal released Thursday. “We want to liberate the enemy-occupied territories as soon as possible. To do this, we need other weapons.”
Reznikov ticked off a longer list: air defense systems and combat aircraft to protect citizens and Ukrainian troops from missiles and airstrikes; long-range artillery to keep Russian forces at a distance; tanks and armored vehicles to break through Russian defenses and liberate the occupied territories; and anti-ship missiles to beat back the Russian naval siege and unblock ports on the Black Sea.
Let’s hope the West keeps its foot on the pedal in supplying Ukraine. What they are going through is so horrific and barbaric that it almost defies description.
On the topic of how horrific it is, you can’t help but wonder how the Russian people keep supporting this madness. And as only Twitter can seem to do these days, that answer was provided. See below:
Here’s the entire thread, which is absolutely worth the read. It’s so eye-opening. For me, anyway, it finally makes a little more sense.
When Russian missiles hit my hometown of Odesa on Feb 24, my mom jumped on the first bus out of the country. Her obvious destination was Moldova—because of geographical proximity, but also, because our family lived there until 1995 when we moved to Ukraine.
My mom has a network of friends there—Russian-speakers who, unlike our family, still live in Moldova. From the bus, she called her old friend—I’ll call her Tanya—who still lives in Moldova, and asked if she could spend the night—she could only find a hotel room for the day after.
Tanya was irritated. It was her birthday, and my mom’s unexpected visit was at an bad time. The Russian invasion shook up the entire world, forcing millions of Ukrainians to walk over the border with Moldova in the middle of winter—and Tanya was having a party!
Tanya is not a monster (at least not fulltime)—she is a highly educated woman that plays the piano and casually quotes Russian literature in everyday conversations. But if you ask her about the Bucha massacre, she’ll tell you it didn’t happen.
There are millions like her in Moldova, Ukraine, Russia itself, and even in Western countries like Germany, Canada and the US. We call them the "deceived generation," the last victims of Soviet propaganda.
The break-up of the USSR marked the start of nation-building (actually re-building), pitting Russian minorities against the ethnic majorities. After more than 50 years of repression (think Bucha), the ethnic majorities finally got a say in the politics of their own states.
This nation-building consisted of downplaying or outright rejecting everything Soviet (read Russian) in favor of national (Moldovan, Ukrainian), and the corresponding change in the distribution of power and wealth.
All of a sudden, ethnic Russians who refused to learn the national language, started getting passed over for promotions in favor of those (including ethnic Russians) who spoke the national language.
In Moldova where I lived, everything around me—TV programming, store signs, street signs, and ever street names—changed from Russian to Romanian.
Other changes included an increase in the hours of Romanian (in schools for Russian-speakers, like the one I attended), as well as the content of literature and history classes.
I was a child, so none of this was a big deal. I quickly picked up Romanian, as children do. For the Russian-speaking adults, however, it was not so easy. It is difficult to learn a completely new language as an adult. But the real obstacle was the hubris.
Decades of Soviet propaganda (backed with repression) taught the ethnic Russians about their undeniable superiority over everyone else. Why should they learn some backward language like Romanian or Ukrainian if Russian is the “purest and the most beautiful language”?
How and why should they accept a government made up of non-Russians? And anyway, there was no point in trying, because Russia was going to come back and re-absorb all the former satellites soon enough, setting everything back how it was.
I kid you not, these were the conversations I listened to as a kid in our Russian-speaking circle of friends. More surprisingly, these are the conversations I still hear (even from my own relatives) today, 30 years later.
These people still hope that Russia will come to save them from the “inferior” national majorities AND give them their coveted Russian pension. These people are still waiting for Russia to give back the money they lost (na knijke) when the Soviet Union broke up.
These people did not cause the Russian invasion—contrary to what they think, protecting them is the last thing on Putin’s mind (he doesn’t actually want to pay them pensions). But these people are complicit in the crimes being committed against Ukrainians.
Deep down, they know that the Bucha massacre did happen—they just don’t care, because the victims are “inferior.” Just ask them about Russian crimes in Chechnya.
I’m going to keep the news portion short today. I really do hope you take the time to watch the video above and read the full explanation provided above.
The video will move you and you truly need to understand the Russian reasoning explained above.
One final reminder of our own country’s sacrifices, here’s today’s “lest we forget:”
Finally, let’s end with some motivation and wisdom.
One final thing. I’d love some feedback. Would you prefer more motivation and wisdom in each newsletter? (I could easily do 7 or 8 or even more.) Or is two to three about right?
If you don’t want to comment below, you can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Or, you’re welcome to provide any other feedback.) I love hearing feedback, compliments, and even constructive criticism. : )
That’s it for this edition. As a reminder, please be kind and endeavor to love your fellow Americans. We need to pull this country together, and that starts with all of us.
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Stan R. Mitchell
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